Shilling the Rubes: The Craftsman in Philadelphia (spoken paper)
Prof. Toby Seay
Director - Drexel University Audio Archive
Abstract: In August 1974, David Bowie arrived at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia to record what would be come the Young Americans album. The creation of this album occurred during the middle of the Diamond Dogs Tour, putting an exclamation point on the Diamond Dogs sound while musically evolving towards what Bowie described as “plastic soul”. Recording in Philadelphia was Bowie’s attempt at capturing the lush soul sound that had been flowing out of Sigma Sound Studios in the early 1970’s and was at its crest in 1974. Due to various obstacles, Bowie was unable to gain access to that sound directly, but instead created his own version of soul that connected with American audiences and propelled him up the charts and towards Station to Station.
Through the analysis of primary documents and recordings from the Sigma Sound Studios Collection, participant interviews, and literature review, the author will discuss these obstacles to the Sound of Philadelphia and describe an artist who is confident, prepared, and in control. While much has been written about Mr. Bowie’s time at Sigma, this presentation will give a glimpse into the studio and show Bowie as a tireless craftsman with a strong work-ethic who would have created his own sound regardless of circumstances. This presentation will also include never released recordings including the legendary Shilling the Rubes.
Let’s hear it for the Gouster: locating Sigma outtakes in Bowie’s transition from Diamond Dogs to Young Americans (spoken paper)
Dr. Leah Kardos
Kingston University London
Abstract: Never finished and shrouded in mystery and myth, Shilling The Rubes was cut at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia in August 1974, and is a typically rich example of Bowie’s post-Ziggy songwriting style. Set within a Burroughsian carnival/circus, the subject of the song is portrayed as a fly-by-night con man: taking people’s money, breaking hearts and disappearing on to the next town.
From the same sessions the other unheard outtake is a rewrite of I Am A Laser. Originally written for The Astronettes earlier in 1974, the song would eventually be rewritten a second time to become Scream Like A Baby (1980). This version features a completely new verse structure and major tonality, its lyrics concerned with introducing The Gouster himself, the clothes he wears and how impressive his girlfriend looks (tough, in her doo-rag, razor blades in her bra).
These outtakes shed light on Bowie’s creative processes and the aesthetic/artistic evolutions occurring during this period. Through musicological analysis and observance of signifying sounds, motifs and practices, the author will identify the ways in which these lost songs are connected to the catalogue and how they provide fresh detail in the progression and refinement of Bowie’s output from the post-apocalyptic theatre of Diamond Dogs to Young Americans and beyond.
New York people: Pianist R. Andrew Lee will be performing at Spectrum on Thursday, June 18 at 8:30pm. Nestled amongst a diverse and lovely looking program is the North American premiere of my Three Preludes.
Pasticcio per meno è più (2014) by Michael Vincent Waller (b. 1985)
Three Preludes (2013) by Leah Kardos (b. 1979)
Piano Sonata in G Major, D894, Mvt. I (1826) by Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Abide with Me (2007/2012) by Adrian Knight (b. 1987)
God is a Killer* (2006) by Galen H. Brown (b. 1979)Read more
Bigo & Twigetti label-mate Jim Perkins and I will be collaborating on a show that will include re-arrangements and new interpretations of our original work for live ensemble. Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz will be singing some of my songs from Machines as well as a few new things.
I'm excited! If you're in London that weekend come out and say hi!
The performance, to be held on 9 May, will be hosted by the Government of Western Australia, alongside a reception of West Australian fine wines.
Click here for ticket & RSVP info
At the end of the Feather Hammer show, I performed some tracks from You Can't Hide Beat, my Bowie covers EP from last year. I dedicated the songs - Sunday, Lady Grinning Soul and a new version of Heathen - to my dear departed friend Jim Hyde, whom I met on a Bowie fan site back in the late 90s. One of our last conversations was about how much he enjoyed the Bowie covers EP, so it seemed a fitting gesture to make although I very nearly dropped the idea the morning of the show; I wasn't feeling brave at all having not sung in public for years. Liz talked me back into it, and I'm glad I did it. I miss you Jim.
And here is a very cool thing; I've been sampled! During the DJ set after my show, Matt Greasley played this track and it took me a while to register it was even me. Mrs Properly from Uncle Bob's Records pillaged that hour-long ResonanceFM show I did back in September 2011 and found all the various words needed to proclaim my love of kickass beats. Who hasn't wanted to be sampled in a daft dance track? I love it!
Finally, after an amazing run of performances in London, Matt Greasley and I are wheeling our Feather Hammer show into Bedford for one last go. This is it, the very last and final show and I'm so glad it's going to be a home-town gig... not least because I can party with everyone afterwards and stay out late and not have to worry about transporting my heavy piano and kit about on the London underground.
I've never played a show in Bedford before, I hope I can get the locals interested enough to come out for it. If you want to attend, you can RSVP here on the Facebook event page here. I'm even thinking of dropping some My Lithium & Me tracks into the setlist, just for the sheer hell of it! Afterwards, Matt Greasley will be DJ/VJ extraordinaire spinning tracks and projecting weird video art throughout the wee hours. I can already feel this is going to be a super fun gig. The support acts are great too.
Entry is a fiver, pay on the door. x
We were told by the NPG staff that we weren't allowed to take pictures in the space, but here are some sneaky ones taken by some audience members before they got told off for doing so.
Sound check (photo by Liz Tray)
During the show, taken by Sam Grinsell before getting scolded
From the front row (photo by Charlotte Noon)
Ok I'm really excited about this one! It's happening on my 33rd birthday*!
Once again I'm going to be performing with amazing video artist Matthew Greasley, and we'll be changing up the set, throwing in a few new additions. Best bit, it's free! Head over to the Facebook event page and RSVP, and pencil it in your diaries. :)
*I was born on the 21st, but it will be my birthday in Australia, where I was born, so that counts right?
And here's a video (a bootleg! I've always wanted to say that!) shot by Charlotte Noon, in which I try and manage/remember all the bits flying around in Repeater, and occasionally stand about looking confused.
This info was taken from the Rumour Cubes' Facebook event page:
"We've just finished our album! It's called The Narrow State, and we're quite chuffed with it! It's not getting released til the 27th February 2012 (you can pre-order from http://rumourcubes.bandcamp.com/) but we're far too impatient to wait til then to play some of it live!
We will be supported by the simply wonderful Leah Kardos with second support to be confirmed: with free entry and a lovely venue, this is pretty much guaranteed be a great night! Hope to see you there!"
Saturday 18th February @ The Horatia, 98-102 Holloway Rd, N7 8JE
Click here to RSVP
These guys are one of my favourite new bands at the moment. You should do yourself a favour and grab their EP from bandcamp, it's a free download and it's excellent. Also, check out this track from the forthcoming release 'The Narrow State', I just love it:
The Gove Curve by Rumour Cubes
Shhh – A celebration of quiet music, art and film
Saturday, February 4 The Gallery Cafe – Bethnall Green, London E2
RSVP via Facebook | Buy Tickets
from The Line of Best Fit:
For the third year running The Local and The Line Of Best Fit are teaming up to present Shhh – an all day celebration of quiet music, art and film. Moving from our regular North London home of Cecil Sharp House to the more intimate surroundings of The Gallery Cafe in East London’s Bethnall Green, this year sees performances from Tiny Ruins, Tom Rogerson (Three Trapped Tigers), Mirel Wagner and the debut UK performance from Swedish troubadour The Tarantula Waltz.
Other acts include Felix, The Singing Adams, Anna Meredith, Rob St John, Leah Kardos, Hyperpotamus, Dog Ears, Fierce And The Dead, Alex Haynes, Stranded Horse and Our Feathered Embers.
In addition to this fabulous lineup, other attractions include a screening of a new film about David Thomas Broughton, plus various acts soundtracking silent movies by the artist Luke Drozd and an arts and music stall.
A limited number of early bird tickets are on sale now priced at £7.50. The event will take place on Saturday, February 4 at The Gallery Cafe which is located on 21 Old Ford Rd, London E2 9PL.
I feel completely honoured to be sharing a bill with such an amazing line up! Like the premiere, I'll be working with video artist Matt Greasley again to present the music from Feather Hammer, and I think we might be performing our set from a little cinema space in the venue. Can't wait!
If you're on Facebook, you can RSVP to the event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=276449095715751
It's going to be kickarse, I promise!
Here's a write up about the event, stolen from the Chaos Theory website:
Time: Friday 25th November 7.30pm
Venue: The Wilmington Arms, 69 Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4RL
Chaos Theory are proud to present three fiercely inventive talents premièring their contemporary works during this one-off event. All of the musicians tonight combine various disciplines, technology and defy tradition. In the true spirit of what Chaos Theory wishes to promote, we invite all of you who wish to experience challenging new music and art.
LEAH KARDOS: FEATHER HAMMER
Leah is a multi-talented composer, producer and pianist whose latest work will be showcased tonight. Her breathtaking new album Feather Hammer (released on 19th September) combines tonal and ambient soundscapes which fuse contemporary classical and electronica styles.
The recorded version of Feather Hammer uses the sounds of acoustic pianos, making use of the hammer, strings and wood percussion of the piano as well as playing them conventionally.
Tonight, we will witness a special presentation of the album featuring digital piano, electronics and video art by Matthew Greasley.
A brilliantly innovative quartet who we’ve had the pleasure of hosting at our monthly night Candied Nonsense. Continually looking to promote the music of established and emerging 20th and 21st Century composers, these graduates from the Royal Academy Of Music, Royal College Of Music and Oxford University never shy away from the new and the experimental. Over the past few months they have premièred ten new works.
Featuring Mandhira De Saram and Patrick Dawkins on violin, Valerie Welbanks on cello and Richard Jones on viola, tonight they will present short pieces by contrasting composers including John Cage, Anton Webern and Harry Partch.
Opening the evening will be this gifted soloist, who will be creating extraordinary music using his original music concept.
Gathering field-recordings within one mile of the Wilmington Arms over the course of one hour, Sam will be manipulating the sounds to forge a one-off soundscape purely for this evening, adding no new sounds whatsoever. He will accompany these recordings with his improvised slide guitar.
A unique start to a unique evening.
This is a rare opportunity to see such vast talent together in one evening and we invite you to come and see how limitless music can be.
£8 on the door
I might be doing some gigs later on this year* to promote the Feather Hammer album, which is where this track comes from (or will come from, once the album is completed). I'm very excited about it all, and will definitely post news about it on this site as soon as I can. For now I just have to concentrate on finishing off the production, and adapting everything for live using Albleton and my lovely new APC40.
*this projection could get blown out by a few months, since film soundtrack work takes priority (i.e., we need to pay our bills, right?) and I just got news of some urgent film work that needs doing in July. Time will tell if I manage to get everything done. Now that I think about it, it's actually a good idea to take every projected date I publicise and add 2 months - I seem to have no concept of the limitations of time, space, distance and real life.
The Picnoleptic Muse by Ed Baxter by NetaudioLondon
Netaudio London 2011 festival broadcast, 15 May 2011
produced and presented by Ed Baxter ( 120’ )
Max Neuhaus - Public Supply
Christoph McGown - Grid Public Lock
Lance Dann - The Flickerman
Daniela de Paulis/CAMRAS - OPTICKS
mEtamina Free Net Radio - Don’t die wandering, the sound of impatient wandering
Monty Adkins - Remnant / Suspended Edges
Sol Rezza - Verdades Minúsculas (Tiny Truths)
Spider & I - Feather Hammer - The Waiting
Theme for capcicans - Bite the capcicans
Andrew Jacques - Fedbakontin
Ed Osborn - Stone North
Preslav Literary School - This Good Lesson Keep
Cheapmachines - Ellipse
Filipe Cruz - New Impulses to Old Elements
StSanders - Metallica Shred
Yan Tan Tethera - Full of Noises
RAF - Cage
RAF - KUA
Piet Stoaling - Pudding
For Hire (8)
New Music (35)